The infectivity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) produced in vitro by HepG2 cells transfected with HBV DNA (HepG2T14) has been assayed in a chimpanzee. Following inoculation, the chimpanzee underwent a typical course of type B hepatitis infection, characterized by elevation of serum aminotransferases and by histological identification of hepatic damage. Hepatitis B surface antigen and core-related antigen appeared in the serum at weeks 5 and 7, respectively, after infection. HBV DNA was detected in serum samples, and replicative forms of the HBV genome were identified in liver biopsies. Subtype identification of hepatitis B surface antigen and restriction enzyme analysis of HBV DNA in both the inoculum and the serum of the infected chimpanzee confirmed that the hepatitis B infection observed in this animal was caused by viral particles produced by HepG2T14 cells. These findings indicate that, although HepG2 cells do not seem to be susceptible to infection by HBV in vitro, they can produce biologically infectious virions after transfection with cloned HBV DNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science